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Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Vials from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were pictured at Geneva’s vaccination center on February 3, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Pfizer (NYSE:), BioNTech say data show vaccine safe in kids

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday their COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response in 5-to-11 year-olds, and they plan to seek authorisation to use the vaccine in children in that age range in Europe, the United States and elsewhere as soon as possible.

In their Phase II/III clinical trials, the vaccine elicited an immune response from 5- to 11-year-olds that was similar to that seen in 16-to-25-year-olds. They also said that the safety profile of the vaccine was generally similar.

Thailand to try alternative vaccination method

Doctors in Thailand have been given the go-ahead to start giving booster shots under the skin, rather than injecting them into muscles, officials said on Monday, in an effort to strengthen immunity and stretch vaccine supplies.

Anutin Charnvirakul the Health Minister said doctors had begun to explore the idea last month. Medical professionals could still use the method provided that there is evidence.

Chalermpong Subkonthaphon is the director of Vachira Hospital in Phuket. He said that his hospital was given permission to start using the method from Friday after trials showed similar results to regular methods.

India to restart COVID vaccine exports

India will resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines from the next quarter, prioritising the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX and neighbouring countries first as supplies rise, the health minister said on Monday.

India is the largest producer of vaccines in the world. It stopped exporting COVID shots to April in order to concentrate on its population.

According to minister Mansukh Mandaviya, the monthly production of vaccines in India has increased more than twice and will reach over 300,000,000 doses by next month. Mandaviya also stated that exports would only be made from surplus supplies.

Sydney cases fall as curbs ease in virus hotspots

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state on Monday reported its lowest rise in daily cases in more than three weeks as some lockdown restrictions were eased in Sydney, the state capital, amid higher vaccination levels.

Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier, said that 935 cases were detected in her state. This is the lowest number of daily cases since August 27, which was down from 1,083 Sunday. There were four additional deaths reported by the state.

New Zealand relaxed its restrictions in Auckland, the country’s largest city. The government stated that the Delta variant was not being transmitted to large areas of New Zealand.

Indonesia logs fewest daily cases in over a year

Indonesia on Monday reported 1,932 new daily infections, the lowest since August 2020, data from country’s COVID-19 task force showed, and the government further eased restrictions in Java and on its resort island Bali.

According to Luhut Panjaitan, a senior minister in the cabinet, Indonesia was once Asia’s epicenter of coronavirus. It has now reported almost 4.2 million cases and more than 140,000 deaths. However, new cases are down 98% since July.

According to the World Health Organization’s threshold of 5% for diagnosing an outbreak, the average positivity rate (the percentage of test results that were positive) was less than 4%.

Ukraine extends restrictions until Dec. 31

Ukraine has extended a state of emergency that allows regional authorities to impose restrictions until the end of 2021 to tackle a surge in infections, the government said on Monday.

The emergency was due to end at the close of September.